Date: 3/23/21 8:33 pm
From: Roy Gerig <roygerig2.0...>
Subject: [obol] 3/23/21 Gyrfalcon nails and eats Cackler in the middle of Coville Road
Around 11 AM In Baskett Slough NWR west of Salem today I came upon this:
The same GYRFALCON that has been around all winter was finishing the kill
of a CACKLING GOOSE (minima). Another birder was already on the corner
from the east side, and I stopped to watch this rare scene,we both watched
from maybe 50 yards west and east on Coville. Fortunately for all of us (2
birders and the GYR and less fortunate for the soon dead CACKLER) there was
no traffic for what seemed like 20 minutes

In that time the GYRFALCON scattered a pile of feathers and had lunch and
dinner, eating most of the Goose. The GYR seemed to want to get the Goose
off the road but could not move it, it tried a few times and then settled
down to eat it instead. I could see it tear huge chunks of breast meat and
innards and swallow them until the GYR could drag it to the side of the
road just when a local non birder came by and did not stop for the two
birds, still at the edge of the road and flew the GYR up, crop completely
stuffed, in my direction so heavy that it had a hard time getting high
enough to clear my car 50 yards away and landed in the second or third
telephone pole from the corner where one enters BSNWR from the east side.
The other birder was taking pictures, and I cannot remember his name, we'd
never met before. I am sure he has or will post them on the Friends of
Baskett Slough group on FB

As we talked the GYR rested on the telephone pole and kept his eye on a
pair of NORTHERN HARRIERS that were mildly harassing it, and his lunch for
tomorrow, while digesting the pound or so of Goose he had just eaten. It
looked like mostly all that was left was the wings, so the GYR had consumed
roughly half of its own weight in the 20 minutes that I was there watching
this incredible scene

Roy Gerig Salem OR

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